Food bank set up for unpaid staff at stricken Bolton

London (AFP) –


A food bank has been set up to help non-playing staff at troubled Bolton who have gone without pay as the club slipped into administration.

Staff of the club and those from the Bolton Whites hotel have gone without pay for six weeks as they await their April salaries.

The club's chaplaincy and Community Trust came together to set up the food bank two weeks ago, and have received donations from several local businesses and charities, as well as one local Championship club.

"Obviously when people have not been paid for a period of time you just know they will be living to their means," said club chaplain Phil Mason.

"There is a lot of anxiety from staff who are concerned about how they are going to pay the bills, how they cope without pay for a period of time and not knowing when that was going to be resolved."

The bank, which has been set up in a private space within the University of Bolton Stadium, has food, toiletries and other provisions such as nappies for those staff with young families.

Bolton chairman Ken Anderson withdrew funding for the club several weeks ago and a proposed takeover from Laurence Bassini collapsed, forcing the club into administration after their relegation to League One had already been confirmed.

The cash-strapped club were unable to fulfil their final home league game of the season against Brentford after the players went on strike in protest at unpaid wages.

Playing staff have not been paid since February, and have received support from the Professional Footballers' Association.

The club will start next season with a 12-point deduction and still owe more than £1 million to tax authorities.

The Whites Hotel has been closed since May 1 but several other club staff have continued to work despite not being paid.

"I've been overwhelmed by the fact that in spite of not being paid they've stuck with the club," Mason said.

"They've made a commitment every day to come into work and shown incredible tenacity and passion for this club, recognising it is in difficulty but still sticking with it and as a consequence, we felt it was very important to give them as much support as we could."